Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best upcycled of them all…

I love mirrors and frames (I have far too many), in any shape of size and even better, I love to buy some cheap, old, unwanted and ugly frames and turn them into a creative masterpiece.

I will be selling a range of frames and mirrors and I have been preparing different frames, using a range of different painting and aging techniques. I will use these to demonstrate in my new workshops in Advanced Paint Techniques and Upcycling Mirror and Frames, starting soon. (add dates)

Nautique

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover This was an old, gold, plastic, ornate picture frame that just needed to come home with me from a ‘Vide Grenier (loft clearance sale). The picture would not come off, so I painted that as well, although I feel that eventually, this picture frame is destined to become a chalk board.Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover

I painted the outer rim with Autentico Nautique (my favourite colour at the moment) – you can read about more projects using Nautique here

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover

I then painted the inner border with Autentico Antique White.  Once dry, I used a ‘dry brushing’ technique (a minimal amount of paint on the brush) and brushed some Antique White into the detail and various places around the frame. I sanded in places to bring back some of the gold.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover

I then applied a lot of Autentico Anthracite Wax and really pushed the brush in the frame to ensure getting into all the little grooves. I used a kitchen paper towel with a little clear wax to rub off the dark wax and bring some of the white detail back.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover

I love it and I think it would have looked good in any colour, to be honest. Who knows. Perhaps I will experiment with another technique and my next favourite colour.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover

 

Bright Turquoise

UPCYCLED ORNATE AUTENTICO BRIGHT TURQUOISE MIRRORI saw this cute little mirror and how beautiful it was with its ornate swirls.

UPCYCLED ORNATE AUTENTICO BRIGHT TURQUOISE MIRROR

I used a variety of techniques on this little gem.  First I painted with one coat of Autentico Bright Turquoise and then dabbed on some Autentico Glaze, mixed with a little black acrylic in places, to highlight some of the detail. I also dabbed on some Antique White in various places to highlight the detail and then sanded back to reveal some of the gold underneath. I finished off by using Authentico Clear Wax to enhance and seal the colour.

UPCYCLED ORNATE AUTENTICO BRIGHT TURQUOISE MIRROR

I was so pleased how this cute little mirror came out and will definitely replicate the technique with some larger mirrors and ornate frames. The colours make the mirror look like aged metal and gives it a sense of being a rustic, gothic, antique look.

Antique Rose

UPCYCLED ORNATE AUTENTICO CHALK PAINT ANTIIQUE ROSE MIRRORI was itching to find something to try out this stunning new colour on and found the perfect example. I used Autentico Antique Rose, along with the Autentico Craquelure system, which created tiny crackles, like fine porcelain. I then enhanced it with Autentico Anthracite Wax, which feels the tiny cracks to enhance them.

This mirror has been left with a before-and-after look for both the paint, Craquelure and wax application. Once again, I love this look. It has a romantic fairy tale look and I would say fit it is for Cinderella’s dressing room.

Bathroom Mirror Makeover

UPCYCLED ORNANTE MIRROR CHALK PAINTS DRY BRUSH TECHNIQUE

This mirror is in my bathroom and many people have commented on how effective looks. It took minutes and I used the dry-paint method using, Antique White, a bit of Autentico Gris followed by Autentico Swedish Blue Wax in places. I left some of the gold detail and it really does look fantastic in my grey and white bathroom.

Vintage White

FRENCH ANTIQUE CHALK PAINTED MIRRORThis is an epic mirror which demanded attention. All my workshop attendees love the shabby look of it and many want to replicate this for their own projects.

This piece was painted with a homemade off-white chalk paint and sanded in places. Most of this effect has been created with Autentico Anthracite Wax, to enhance and make the amazing detail stand out.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover

There are many more mirrors and frames that I have worked on but these are my favourites so far. So, which do you think is the best upcycled of them all?

If you are interested in attending one of my ‘Upcycle (old and new) picture frames and mirrors’ see more details here 


Nautique – Autentico Vintage Chalk – Colour of the month

Being a stockist for Autentico is far too much fun!  I am surrounded daily with an array of delightful colours, that I work my way through testing and using on various projects.

My favourite colour this month is Nautique, a really rich ‘grey blue’, and as the name suggest it certainly takes you to images of sailing on your luxury yacht with the sea breeze and waves lapping around you… (I wish) anyhow back to being in my French barn 😉

Bathroom Cupboard

I have (so far…) painted my bathroom cupboard using a ‘chippy look technique’ which works perfectly against the white and grey colour scheme and really makes a statement on the white tiled wall.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint - Chippy look paint technique’

Upcycled Gold Mirror

I have upcycled an old gold plastic ornate picture frame that just need to come home with me at a ‘Vide Grenier (loft clearance).  The picture could not come off, so I painted that as well, although I feel this frame is destined to become a chalk board eventually.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror MakeoverI also painted a few tins and jugs (cannot resist).  Below is a china watering can during upcycling.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Jug makeover

I also picked up a chalk notice board, which had seen better days. It was green with a peach picture and with a little bit of chalk board paint to freshen up, along with a water decal french typography transfer, will look great in my kitchen.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Notice Board makeover

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Notice Board makeover

An attendee on my latest workshop also spotted the colour and painted her little antique stool.Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint

To see the full colour range click here 

Workshop information – link here

 


Stencils

As a graphic designer, I have always enjoyed working with font types and typography and have a love for vintage signs.  So, when I was asked to research some vintage French typography for a customer, who wanted their side-table stencilled, I discovered this array of stunning, high quality typography available to use, and even better … they were free.

DECAL VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON TIN CAN

 

I then researched all the different ways to transfer stencils and, so far, for me, the ‘water decal method’ works very well and produced great results. It is a bit fiddly to start with but, as with everything, the more you practice, the more you get the hang of it. Then it becomes highly addictive.

 I would recommend starting with a small square transfer on your first attempt, as the more detailed ones take more practice.  The transfers are so effective, due to them being printed onto transparent paper, which enables them to blend into the background of the project.

I also enjoy using white decal paper, used mostly for darker coloured objects, where a transparent decal  transfer would get lost. Only specialised printers can print using white ink, so therefore, if you need the lettering/detail to be white, then using the white is best.

I decided to use a really pretty design on the white decal paper to see what the look would be like. I really like it. The colours seemed to ‘pop’ and be more vibrant and the lettering works well with the turquoise coming through.  There is another example of using the white decal paper, shown further down the post.

UPCYCLED JAR USING WHITE DECAL PAPER

UPCYCLED JAR USING WHITE DECAL PAPER

So, I now have the water decal transfer bug and love spending time seeing what I can do with various pots, tins, jugs, jars, teapots and, well, pretty much anything.  In fact, I am running new workshops and I guess I share a common interest, as they are nearly sold out and I am planning further dates, click here for dates and further information.

I am also selling the decal paper (transparent and white), for those who want to give it a go, along with pre-prepared transfers, ready to use straight on to your own projects. Find out more here.

Here are some of my transferred projects (so far)…

TINS

UPCYCLED JARS AND TINS STENCIL WORKSHOPS

Tins are such great fun, and rather than put them into the recycling bag, I was collecting them to use as storage for various brushes and items used during my workshops. They look so effective when they are grouped together and I have used lots of different effects on them, such as dry brushing with two colours, using a wash and distressing and waxing. I applied some string and a little heart on a couple and found some great French typography transfers for each one.  I then used clear varnish to seal.

The yellow one started out as my favourite but then I liked the blue one with the French postcard transfers. This seems to be everyone’s favourite. But, well … I love them all.

Upcycled Tin with French Typography Label/stencil - decalThe above tin was painted with a lovely pale vanilla and I used a ‘Rose de Province’ label, which I thought worked really well with the flowers.  The tin was distressed in places with dark wax to age.

DECAL/LABELS VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON TIN CAN

Another example was simply using PVA glue with a French vintage typography label.  I stained the label with a tea bag and then aged with wax to blend in further.  The other tin (behind) was simply a clear decal stencil applied to the tin, which even though it has not been painted, I thought still looks really effective.

JARS

There are so many stunning jars that probably go unnoticed to the non-stencil addict.  I show people the ‘before and after’ and they often say that they had never noticed the lovely designs on them before.  I guess Panzani’s sauce will soon see an increase in their sales 🙂

DECAL VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON JAR

The image below shows a crackle effect, using Autentico Crackle Glaze applied over the top of Autentico Antique White and then a coat of of Bright Turquoise (one of my favourite colours).   

DECAL VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON JAR

This is the same jar with a clear decal stencil applied. I had been wanting to use this ribbon stencil for ages, so I thought it would work as the jar is fairly tall.

UPCYCLED JAR WITH TRANSPARENT WATER DECAL STENCIL

I then thought I would try out one of the white water decal stencils leftover from my last stencil workshop on the back of the jar. I love it as much as the other stencil and I think it works, as there is a hint of Antique White peeking through, which compliments each colour.

CRACKLE GLAZE UPCYCLED JAR

UPCYCLED JAR WITH WHITE WATER DECAL STENCIL

JUGS AND POTS

I love painting jugs. You know, those ones that are awful colours, which do not match anything and you pick up from boot markets or junk shops very cheaply.

DECAL VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON JUGS

The above example is everyone’s favourite. The combination of the colours against the French Postcode, really sets it off.  The yellow and blue were the original colours of the jug, which was painted with Autentico Antique White and then sanded in places and distressed to age.

DECAL VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON JARThese jugs not only look great painted with chalk paint but also when using crackle glaze. The example shows the jug painted with Autentico Bright Turquoise with a crackle effect and, as the jug had a texture underneath, some of that has come through the crackle. A small, French Typography stencil was applied over the area where ‘Warwickshire Castle’ lettering was, which I think finishes the jug perfectly.

FRENCH COFFEE POTS

I can feel a collection beginning here … I just love everything about these pots and here they are ready to be stencilled.

CREAM FRENCH COFFEE DECAL STENCIL FRENCH VINTAGE TYPOGRAPHY

CREAM FRENCH COFFEE POT BEFORE

FRENCH COFFEE DECAL STENCIL FRENCH VINTAGE TYPOGRAPHY

WHITE FRENCH COFFEE POT_BEFORE

CREAM FRENCH COFFEE DECAL STENCIL FRENCH VINTAGE TYPOGRAPHY

YELLOW FRENCH COFFEE POT_BEFORE

And here they all are, sitting proudly on my kitchen shelf and I love them. I actually spent a while (well around 2 minutes) deciding which stencils would look the best.  I chose the final stencils based on the shape of the pot, hence a long one for the tall, cream coffee pot etc. I think they work so well and I look at them and find it hard to believe that I actually stencilled them.

FRENCH COFFEE DECAL STENCIL FRENCH VINTAGE TYPOGRAPHY

FRENCH COFFEE POTS – FINISHED

TERRACOTTA PLANT POTS 

Terracotta Pots make great chalk paint projects, due to their porous texture and ability to sand and age.  I added a French Vintage Perfume decal stencil, which shows off my French Lavender plant perfectly.  The pot itself was distressed using a technique of dry painting using Autentico Antique White and using a base of PVA glue to look patchy.  I also distressed the stencil a little by rubbing off some of the detail, to blend in with the pot better.  I will be soon putting on some workshops for Upcycling Pots, which will show this technique along with others.

DECAL VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON TERRACOTTA FLOWER POT

The range of other items that can be stencilled is endless, here are some examples using stencils on furniture:

FRENCH VINTAGE FURNITURE DECAL STENCIL ON CHALK PAINTED HALL STAND

 

POTTING TABLE WATER DECAL STENCIL

POTTING TABLE

FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY DECAL VIN STENCIL

WINE RACK

If your interested in attending our stencil workshops then please see dates here. Further dates will be available soon and we will be offering one day courses in other locations.

I hope you found my blog inspirational and enjoy upcycling your own junk.